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Cranberry Recipes, Fun Facts, and Benefits

Updated on August 7, 2019
Cranberries | Source

Fun Facts about Cranberries

  • Wisconsin cranberry growers annually harvest enough cranberries to supply every man, woman, and child in the world with 26 cranberries each.
  • Years ago American vessels carried cranberries, the cranberry's generous supply of vitamin C that prevented scurvy.
  • The cranberry, blueberry and Concord grape are an example of the few fruits native to North America.
  • Cook cranberries only until they pop. Futher cooking makes them taste bitter.
  • Cranberries are harvested in Septembe and October.
  • The cranberry gets its name from Dutch and German settlers, who called it "crane berry." because of its resemblance to the head and bill of a crane. Eventually the name was shortened to cranberry.
  • Native Americans used cranberries to make a survival cake known as pemmican.
  • More than 1/5 of the cranberries grown in the US are made into juice.
  • Dennis, Massachusetts was the site of the first recorded cranberry cultivation in 1816.
  • When cooking cranberries, always add one teaspoon of butter to each pound to eliminate over boiling and excess foam.

  • If you lined up all the cranberries grown in the US in the last year they would circle the earth over 140 times.

  • The Pilgrims may have served cranberries at the first Thanksgiving in 1621 in Plymouth, Massachusetts.
  • During World War II, American troops required about one million pounds of dehydrated cranberries a year.
  • The hearty cranberry vine thrives in conditions that would not support most other crops: acid soil, few nutrients and low temperatures, even in summer.
  • American recipes containing cranberries date from the early 18th Century.
  • If undamaged a cranberry vine can survive more than 150 years.
  • It takes one ton or more of cranberry vines per acre to plant a bog.
  • Depending on the weather, cranberry blossoms last 10 to 12 days.
  • Contrary to popular belief, cranberries do not grow in water. They are grown on sandy bogs or marshes. Because cranberries float, some bogs are flooded when the fruit is ready for harvesting.
  • If all the cranberry bogs in North America were put together, they would comprise an area equal in size to the tiny island of Nantucket, off Massachusetts, approximately 47 square miles.
  • Cranberries are primarily grown in five states -- Massachusetts, Wisconsin, New Jersey, Oregon and Washington. Another 5,500 acres are cultivated in Chile, Quebec, and British Columbia. There are nearly 1,000 cranberry growers in America.
  • In 1996, cranberry growers in the United States harvested 4.84 million barrels of fruit, according to the U.S. Department of Agriculture.
  • About 80 million pounds of cranberries are eaten during Thanksgiving week.
  • Seven of 10 cranberries sold in the world today come from Ocean Spray, a grower cooperative started in 1930.
  • Cranberries are sometimes used to flavor wines, but do not ferment as naturally as grapes, making them unsuitable for the traditional winemaking process.
  • In the 1880s, a New Jersey grower named John “Peg Leg” Webb discovered that cranberries bounce. Instead of carrying his crop down from the storage loft of his barn, Webb poured them down the steps. He noticed that only the freshest, firmest fruit reached the bottom; rotten or bruised berries didn't bounce and remained on the steps. This discovery led to the invention of "bounceboards", tools used to separate rotten berries from fresh ones.
  • Native Americans used cranberries for both medicinal and natural preservative purposes. They brewed cranberry mixtures to draw poson from arrow wounds. They used a cranberry paste to extend the life of dried meat.

Cranberry juice
Cranberry juice | Source

The Benefits of Cranberries

  • Cranberries are high in antioxidents and can be beneficial for the health of your gums.  They may help fight gumdisease.
  • Improve the body's circulatory system.
  • Helps prevent Urinary Tract Infections.
  • A daily glass of cranberry juice will treat diseases like cystitis.
  • Cranberry juice increases the effect of medicines used to treat ulcer and many digestive complaints.
  • Helps inhibit growth of bacteria that causes dental plaque.
  • Provide relief for asthma patients.
  • Condensed tannins in cranberries can inhibit the oxidation of bad cholesterol and as a result protects body against atheroscelrosis.
  • They may help protect against food poisoning.
  • Exhibits some anti-carcinogenic anti-cancer activity.
  • Cranberry juice is known to decrease the problem of cellulite and improve overall skin health.
  • Cranberries are a rich source of dietary fiber.
  • Tannins are also considered an important contributor to a healthy heart.
  • Acts as bactericide and affects the acidity of the urine. In effect, it disrupts the development of kidney stone formation.
  • Helps to prevent narrow hardened arteries that may lead to a stroke.

  • They may help increase the level of good cholesterol, HDL, and reduce bad cholesterol, LDL.

  • A handful of dried cranberries everyday can protect you from breast cancer.

  • Cranberry juice is very effective in reducing harmful bacteria in the mouth.

  • They may help prevent tumors from growing rapidly or even from forming.

  • Cranberries are high in calicium, magnesium, potassium, Vitamin A and Vitamin B.

  • Cranberreis conatin fibe, phytochemicals, nicain, choline, phosphorous, sodium and beta-carotene.



Hot Cranberry Punch


2 cups cranberry juice cocktail

2 cups unsweetened pineapple juice

1/3 cup light brown sugar

3 2"cinnamon sticks, broken

1 tbsp whole cloves

1/2 tsp whole allspice


Place liquids and brown sugar in a saucepan and blend well.

Place spices in a tea diffuser and place into saucepan with liquids.

Simmer for 10 minutes.

Serve in punch cups and garnish with a slice of lemon.

Molded gelatin salad
Molded gelatin salad | Source

Cranberry Gelatin Salad


1/2 lbs cranberries

1 pkg strawberry gelatin

1 cup hot water

1 cup pineapple juice

1/2 cup crushed pineapple

1 1/2 cups sugar

3 apples, fined chopped

1/4 cup chopped walnuts


Wash and grind cranberries with a food chopper.

Add chopped apples, crushed pineapple, nuts, and sugar.

Dissolve gelatin in hot water.

Add pineapple juice.

When gelatin is cool add fruit mix.

Pour into mold and allow to become firm.

When ready to serve unmold onto a bed of lettuce.


Cranberry orange butter
Cranberry orange butter | Source

Cranberry Orange Butter


1 small unpeeled orange, diced

1/4 cup raw cranberries

1/4 cup sugar

1/2 cup whipped butter


Place orange, cranberries and sugar in an electric blender and blend for 40 seconds.

Fold mixture into whipped butter.

Delicious on pancakes, waffles, rice cakes, crackers or toast.

Cranberry sauce
Cranberry sauce | Source

Cranberry Sauce


1 cup sugar

1 cup water

4 cups cranberries

4 strips orange zest


Combine sugar and water and bring to a boil.

Add cranberries and bring back to a boil.

Reduce heat and simmer for 10 minutes.

Add orange zest and remove from heat.

Cool to room temperature.

Chill in refrigerator.

Sauce will thicken as it cools.

Cranberry relish
Cranberry relish | Source

Cranberry Relish


4 cups cranberries

2 oranges

2 cups sugar


Put cranberries through food processor

Peel oranges and remove seeds.

Put orange and rind through food processor.

Mix all ingredients together and let stand for a few hours before serving.

Cranberry nut bread
Cranberry nut bread | Source

Cranberry Orange Nut Bread


2 cups flour

1 cup sugar

1 1/2 tsp baking powder

1/2 tsp salt

1/2 tsp baking soda

Juice of 1 orange

Grated rind of 1 orange

2 tbsp melted butter

1 egg, beaten

1 cup cranberries

1 cup walnuts, chopped


Preheat oven to 325 degrees.

Sift together flour, sugar, baking powder, salt, and baking soda.

Combine orange juice, orange rind, and butter.

Add enough water to orange mixture to make 3/4 cups liquid.

Add to dry ingredients.

Add egg, cranberries and nuts and blend well.

Bake for 1 hour.

This content is accurate and true to the best of the author’s knowledge and is not meant to substitute for formal and individualized advice from a qualified professional.

© 2010 Susan Hazelton


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